In the midst of the 2012 Detroit Auto Show previews, Lexus has thrown out its first teaser image of a new Sport Concept scheduled to be revealed on one of the two press days in Detroit. This sporty new concept is said to showcase the brand’s new design direction which will hopefully eliminate the stuffiness associated with Toyota’s luxury brand.
The teaser image is just that; a big, fat tease. However, we do see a bit of an aggressive line in the design, along with a slender headlight and a large air intake. There also seems to be design elements taken from the GS sedan unveiled earlier this year, which may mean this could be a preview of the new generation IS. Then again, the SC just performed a disappearing act a couple of years ago and Lexus was already rumored to be working on a more powerful successor.
The new sport concept was designed by Calty, the company’s design studio in Newport Beach, California. Its official details will be released on January 9, 2012, so stay tuned!
UPDATE 12/19/2011: Lexus has unveiled a new teaser image of their concept model to be unveiled in Detroit. This time the image offers a glimpse of the concept’s interior.
The 2012 Detroit Auto Show will be held in less than a month and as expected, more and more automakers are announcing their line-up for the show. For example, Bentley just provided details on its Continental GT V8 and Acura has announced their list of debuts for the show. The line-up includes an all-new compact sports sedan, a redesigned RDX crossover sport utility vehicle, and a concept version of the next generation Acura NSX super car.
The ILX Concept previews an all-new luxury compact sedan scheduled for launch in Spring 2012. It will be offered with a choice of three powertrains including Acura’s first-ever gas-electric hybrid. For the 2013 RDX, Acura has shifted its attention, much like everyone else, to improving the vehicle’s fuel efficiency.
Acura’s new Supercar Concept will take top billing in this showcase, with future plans for a production NSX consuming our minds. This concept was announced at the same time Honda CEO, Takanobu Ito, confirmed that the next NSX would be a high-performance exotic sports car. The company is currently working on a 3.5-3.7 liter VTEC V6 engine in combination with a twin electric motor set-up powered by lithium-ion batteries. This motor will have a plug-in recharge system for a small electric-only range, giving it great amounts of torque.
Another source told AutoExpress that the Dual Note 4WD Hybrid Concept from the 2001 Tokyo Motor Show was the first glimpse at the technology that will underpin the NSX. This concept was powered by a 3.5 liter V6 engine which sent power to the rear wheels, while in-wheel electric motors sent power to the front. This setup delivered an output of over 400 HP.
"Acura has a steady cadence of exciting new models coming to market and it will all begin in Detroit," said Jeff Conrad, vice president and general manager of Acura sales and service. "From the all-new Acura ILX at the gateway of the lineup to the pinnacle of performance with the Acura NSX Concept, Acura vehicles are being created for luxury customers who aspire to the highest levels of quality and value, with beautiful styling and the right balance of technology, performance and environmental responsibility."
Image above is of the Supercar Concept as seen on the movie set for The Avengers.
The next big auto show will take place at the turn of the calendar, but as early as now, we’re getting a good look at some of the concepts that are scheduled to be in attendance at the 2012 Detroit Auto Show in January.
German automaker, Smart, has never been shy when introducing zany concepts in the past and it’s looking like they’re going to unveil a new one in Detroit.
The car is called the "For-Us" Urban Pick-Up Concept that Smart is describing as a concept targeted to the "young and young-at-heart with active lives who attach importance to low emissions and taking up minimum road space."
The description is pretty much apt to all their previous concepts so there’s nothing unique there. What’s different, though, is that the For-Us Urban Pick-Up Concept comes with an electrically-powered tailboard that opens and retracts with a 900mm cargo area that’s big enough to hold and serve as a charging port for as much as two Smart E-Bikes.
This review has been updated with official details and photos that you can find after the jump
Honda is intending on providing a little padding for the winter months by bringing back a couple of models for their future lineup. It was already announced that the company would be unveiling the Small Sports EV Concept - the concept that is said to preview the revival of the S2000 - at the 2011 Tokyo Motor Show, but word has it that the company is also bringing a new Super Sports concept set to be revealed at the 2012 Detroit Auto Show. This new concept is said to preview the future NSX supercar.
The two concept cars provide proof that Honda is in fact working on two new sports cars: a small daily driver for those who want to drive in style and a bigger, more powerful model for those who are looking for greater performance. During a recent interview, President of Honda Motor Europe, Manabu Nishimae, said that Honda "knows that there are customers who want Honda sports cars, and we are developing and intending to deliver products for them."
It is believed that both sports cars will be feature a high-performance hybrid or electric powertrain and both are expected to go on sale by 2013.
The wait is finally over! Porsche’s big surprise in Detroit is the Porsche 918 RSR – Racing Laboratory. Starting with the 918 Spyder, the new 918 RSR Racing Lab concept is inspired by models like the 908 long-tail coupe (1969) and the 917 short-tail coupe (1971).
The 918 RSR is a hybrid racing car that combines a V8 motor with a direct petrol injection engine and two electric motors on the front wheels. Each of these motors delivers an additional 75 kW, adding up to 150 kW. The whole engine setup delivers a total of 767 HP. The engine is mated to a six-speed constant-mesh transmission with longitudinally mounted shafts and straight-toothed spur gears.
The new concept is dominated by muscular wheel arches, dynamic air intakes, and a pulpit-like cockpit. It is painted in a new "liquid metal chrome blue" color combined with typical Porsche hybrid orange color on the brake calipers and the body’s longitudinal stripes.
UPDATE 08/19/2011: Some guy was lucky enough to get an invitation to an event in Carmel where they featured a 918 RSR! Check out the photo gallery to see the goods! (TeamSpeed)
Image Credit: Chulander Photography
UPDATE 09/08/11: Porsche has unveiled a new video of the 918 RSR Racing Lab with Anthony Hatter, Porsche’s design manager for sports cars, taking us through a quick walk-through of some of the key elements of the 918 RSR. It’s a good watch if you’re looking to find out more about the inner workings of the car.
Hit the jump to read more about the Porsche 918 RSR Racing Lab.
After showing the world what a CTS Coupe could look like, the next logical step for the Cadillac family was to add a factory tuned V-Series version of the new Coupe to the American luxury automaker’s range. The CTS-V Coupe will be the last version in the CTS lineup with no convertible model currently scheduled for production.
Just like the award winning Cadillac CTS-V, the Coupe is powered by an LSA 6.2 Liter supercharged Chevrolet Corvette ZR-1 V8 that makes a maximum output of 556 HP and 551 lb-ft of torque and is mated to either a Tremec TR6060 six speed manual with a twin plate clutch to handle the extra horse power or a Hydra-Matic 6L90 six speed automatic complete with paddle shifters on the steering wheel that allow you to push button your way from 0 to 60 MPH in only 3.9 seconds.
The exterior of this sporty coupe features a modified front grill that essentially doubles the CTS’s air intake volume as well as a raised center section in the hood to provide room for the blower that eventually spits spent gasses out of a unique twin tipped center exit exhaust. However the CTS-V Coupe is capped off by the 19 inch cast aluminum alloys that are available in either painted or polished finishes and wrapped with a set of sticky Michelin Pilot Sport 2 performance tires, all housing a monstrous set of Brembo brake calipers. We just hope they have enough spare parts left over to make a couple CTS-V Sport Wagons.
Updated 01/13/10: Three new videos added, including the Detroit revealing and the presentation video. Check them out!
UPDATE 01/03/2011: Cadillac has just revealed two new commercials for the CTS-V Coupe featuring Lawrence Fishburne. The commercials are called "Red Blooded Luxury" and "Arrows" and both feature the same tagline: "We don’t just make luxury cars, we make Cadillacs." Check them out by clicking on the picture above.
UPDATE 08/29/11: According to Cadillac, the breadth of technology that was used on the CTS-V represents a significant breakthrough in the industry, especially their so-called "Magnetic Ride Control Technology." Exactly how much of an innovation is it? Apparently, enough to even make Ferrari borrow it. Check out the new Cadillac commercial explaining how it all happened.
Here’s a sexier approach to the Chevrolet Volt. Cadillac’s Converj concept takes the electric car with a gas back powertrain (now called Voltec) from the Chevy and wraps it in a sleek body that reminds of a larger version of the CTS coupe.
The Converj is a strict four-seater. While this is used to give this car a sportier image, this is also necessary because a big center section is taken up by the "T" shaped battery used to power the car. The battery pack contains more than 220 lithium-ion cells that can power the car for up to 40 miles. After the battery runs out, the electric will be replenished by a gas-powered generator. Just like the Volt, the car is designed to be fully charged after plugged in for eight hours on a normal household 120-volt outlet (three hours for 240v).
There is plenty of function to the Converj form. The dark roof contains solar panels to help recharge the car and the sleek body helps cheat the millage-killing wind. Now all that has to happen is for General Motors to find the capital to put the Cadillac of electric cars in production.
UPDATE 08/12/11: After a few jumps on both sides of the fence, Cadillac has officially given the green light for the production of the Converj. The latest news about Cadillac’s resident electric car concept is that GM executives have finally gone ahead and given their blessing to have the Converj hit the production block for a 2013 launch leading up to a release as a 2014 model. Took them a while to finally decide, but hey, better late than never, right?
Fiat’s decision to return to the US after a long and hard absence was set in motion with the 2012 500 and, just as expected, the mini car has already begun to attract the attention of tuning firms ready to pump it up. One such tuner is the famous Mopar, whose new tuning package will be on display at the Detroit Auto Show in just a few days time.
The Fiat 500 is already cute in its own right, but apparently there are about a zillion tuners out there that feel it is an easy car to tweak, pinch, pull, and update. Mopar started its update with removing the Fiat’s usual red exterior paint job and replacing it with some black. The paint job was then given the racy feel with two blue racing stripes on the roof and hood. After that, Mopar added chrome insertions on the exhaust tip, mirror covers, fuel door, front and back grille surround, and a new set of black gloss wheels.
Not being big on interior updates, Mopar only switched out the Fiat 500’s standard interior for one filled with Katzkin leather (black with blue accents) and different carbon fiber inserts.
UPDATE 08/02/2011: Mopar has announced the list of accessories they will be offering for the 2012 Fiat 500. There are over 150 to choose from and the list includes updates for both the exterior and the interior. Hit the jump for a list of the top 15 accessories for the all-new 2012 Fiat 500.
Alfa Romeo fans in the US have a lot to be excited about because the long-awaited return of the Italian brand in American soil is drawing closer and closer.
Now, according to Autobild, the stage for Alfa’s return to America could take place at the 2013 North American International Auto Show in Detroit. Autobild is also reporting that Alfa Romeo is intent on bringing at least five models to the 2013 NAIAS, highlighted by the drop-dead gorgeous 4C GTA Concept.
Together with the 4C GTA, other Alfa Romeo models expected to join in the US invasion include the Giulia, the Giulietta, the five-door MiTo, and a still unidentified Jeep-based crossover.
We’ve all anxiously waited a long time for Alfa Romeo to return to our neck of the woods and it certainly hasn’t come with some impatience. But now that it’s beginning to look like the Italian brand is in fact US-bound after years and years of absence, that impatience and anxiety is slowly becoming excitement and eager anticipation.
Imagining the car of the future would be a pretty serious challenge for most of us, but for Marko Lukovic, from Belgrade Serbia, this challenge was a piece of cake. His Supersonic concept car was designed for the 2011 "Plus 10: The Best is Yet to Come" challenge and was on display at the Michelin stand in Detroit.
The Supersonic has a three wheel based construction and offers interior room for two people, with seating one behind the other, like in a cockpit of a super aircraft. The concept is defined by elegant design lines, with extremely large Xenon head-lights additionally equipped with blue LEDs. Each of the three wheels is powered by a powerful electric motor. The front wheel is hidden and two rear wheels are equipped by circle Neon blue lights for better visibility and safety in traffic at night.
The electric motors take their power from light extra-durable electric batteries (an advanced lithium-ion battery) that will ensure an autonomy of 190 km of driving at higher speed around the town, and about 300 km at lower speed.
The concept comes with no mechanical linkages for the steering and brakes as the steering is based on Drive-By-Wire system. It comes equipped with a GPS navigation connected via satellite to CTSC (City Traffic & Security Center) which assists and suggests crucial activities to all drivers in some specific area.